What is “Best Evidence?”


An important distinction in the field of evidence is that between circumstantial evidence and direct evidence, or evidence that suggests truth as opposed to evidence that directly proves truth. The “best evidence” related to 9/11 is founded on:

  • The opinions of respected authorities, based on professional experience, descriptive studies, and reports of expert committees.
  • Physical data in the form of photographs, videotapes, court testimony, witness reports, and FOIA releases
  • Direct rather than circumstantial evidence


The Practice of Evidence-Based Research


We define the practice of evidence-based research as the judicious use of current best evidence in evaluating the issue at hand. This practice means integrating individual professional expertise with the best available documentary and scientific evidence. To integrate professional expertise into Consensus Points, the Panel employs a simplified Delphi methodology. The Delphi approach is often used in contexts “where published information is inadequate or non-existent,” providing “a means of harnessing the insights of appropriate experts to enable decisions to be made.” The 9/11 Consensus Panel is dedicated to using the “best evidence” available in its quest to shed light upon the world-changing events of September 11, 2001.


The Scope of “Best Evidence” for the Purposes of the 9/11 Consensus Panel


The Panel uses the term in the very narrow sense of the “best evidence” available with regard to any specific claim of the 9/11 official story that the Panel challenges. It does not mean the strongest evidence against the official story in general. It is simply the best evidence against each particular claim that the Panel addresses. “Best evidence”, as used by the 9/11 Consensus Panel, is not evidence in support of alternative theories of what happened on 9/11.


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